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Thursday November 12, 2009 10:12 pm

Griffey to return to Seattle in 2010




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB,

Ken Griffey Jr.Ken Griffy Jr. and the Seattle Mariners reached another deal together on Wednesday, as the M’s signed Griffey to a one-year contract, likely similar to the $2 million base with $3 million incentive-laden deal he inked a year ago. Griffey is a legendary power hitter in Seattle, and spent the majority of his 2009 season in a DH role for the club. The beloved Pennsylvania-born slugger was invited to return by fans during the Mariners’ final homestand, with sentiments echoed by the club with a contract offer. While his playing time in 2010 remains to be determined, Griffey’s presence alone will be enough to ignite a rising Mariners franchise.

Sitting on 630 career home runs, Griffey has a chance to catch Willie Mays for fourth all-time at 660. He almost certainly will not reach the top three, which goes Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), and then Babe Ruth (714). If he’s going to surpass Mays though, he’s going to have to have a season to remember. He last hit 30 home runs in 2007 with Cincinnati in 144 games, but only managed 18 in 2008 in 143 games, splitting time with the Reds and the White Sox. 2009 was a better season numerically as he hit 19 home runs in 117 games with Seattle.

Griffey will be 40-years-old next season, and the injury bug is nothing new to the left-handed ball-masher. He’s lost a step in recent years due to frequent knee injuries, and likely won’t get the 16 stolen bases he needs to reach 200. Regardless, he’s already had a Hall of Fame career. He is a 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, seven-time Silver Slugger winner, American League MVP in 1997, and won the Home Run Derby three times. That is quite a resume. However, of all of those awards, only three of his All-Star appearances have happened in the new millennium.

You have to admire a guy with Griffey’s history trying to continue an already historic legacy. After having honored his father by playing on the Reds for almost a decade, and then honoring Seattle, the city that gave him his shot to become the player he is today by returning in 2008, Griffey is ready to put the finishing touches on one of the greatest baseball careers in MLB history. If the Seattle Mariners come rolling through your city next year, get tickets. You will not often have the chance to see a 600+ home run hitter in your life, and Ken Griffey Jr. is certainly a special one.

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